Friday, August 07, 2009

Non ego-Ego-non ego, a thought

A thought about why sometimes cultivating the Self is a good thing. Based on my personal experience, I know that techniques that negate the ego are very attractive to people who have an ill defined ego for whatever reason---and by that I mean low self esteem and things of that nature. Latching onto something that says that a strong ego isn't a good thing is a way to reinforce the problem, to avoid fixing your self. But it's also invalid from the point of view of cultivating non-attachment, which I think is always a good thing even though I'm not a Buddhist, because you haven't truly experienced attachment yet and so can't appreciate the opposite. The solution to this, paradoxically, or one solution, is to build up the self, to develop the self and to flex it and realize it, to fix whatever problem lead you to latch onto the negation of ego as an easy way out of it. Then, after some amount of self realization has occurred, try to ween yourself off of unnecessary attachments, or off attachment in general. This, strangely enough, has consistently been one of the things that people in the East have commented on with regards to Westerners who are seekers, albeit using different language.

Doug Boyd, who wrote some very good books about his travels with true Native American medicine men (as opposed to hucksters), Hindu Swamis, and Buddhist near-Bodhisattvas, relates that some of the people in the East consistently said that spirituality wasn't an excuse to hide from the world. That even though practices that seemed self negating were being used, the world existed as the source material, and that running away from your problems by joining a monastery or an ashram wouldn't really get you anywhere.

A hard lesson, but there seem to be no shortcuts, and weakness and problems that appear to be strengths because of their resemblance to the state you're supposed to attain really aren't. So the better process could be expressed by the series of non-ego.....the flawed state.....leading to Ego.....the fixed state.....leading to non-Ego once again.....the sort of attachmentless state that people are aiming for.

But folks who have problems shouldn't be spat on, on the other hand, but helped. Everyone has the right to self development and to fulfillment, and the way to that shouldn't be barred because of some internal weakness.

So, summing it up, development of Ego and Self can be good and can be a good stop on the way to non-Ego, if it is a corrective measure.

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